2. The need for primary animal health care
3. The Primary Animal Health Care Worker (PAHCW) and the community.
4. The role of women in PAHC
5. Working group
6. Adapting the manual
7. Adaptation process
8. Health of the community
9. Who uses this manual?
The preparation of a concise manual for the Primary Animal Health Care Worker is not an easy task. The range of species reared for food or as work animals has necessitated that the manual deals with health care and management relating to the major species of domestic animals throughout the world. In addition a balance was struck between first aid, health problems, husbandry and management of the animals.
Every attempt has been made to do this within the confines of a book which remains easily readable and not overlarge. A large, thick text book with complex phrases and terms would do little to encourage the participation of those for whom it is intended, the PAHCWs.
In addition this book has been prepared with the intention that it should not necessarily be used as it is but rather that it will serve as the basis for local adaptation. The best teaching and training is that which always takes into account the local conditions and the abilities of the trainees. Some sections of this book may not require any adaptation, others will need to be adapted to meet the local conditions encountered in the training programme.
Because the book covers the health and management of many animal species it is obvious that not all will be kept as livestock in any one area. Indeed, it may well be the case that some trainees will have never seen some of these species, e.g. camel, llama and alpaca. It is also the case that others will have only recently become involved with keeping animals such as poultry and rabbits for food. In addition some of the diseases covered in the book may not be a problem in the individual country. Therefore some parts of this book may not be applicable to the training programme conducted in any one area.
The following guidelines have been prepared for those who will be adapting this book for use in their training programmes for PAHCWs. It must be stressed that adaptation should be carried out by livestock specialists who are well acquainted with the prevailing situation and culture in the communities.
Adopting this book does not mean adopting this manual alone but also adapting Primary Animal Health Care in the communities. It involves the need for and development of PAHC and its sustained use in the community.
There is a need for a primary animal health care programme when the existing veterinary service cannot be extended because of financial, geographic and technical problems.
It is widely known that the running of a veterinary service is expensive. Training of personnel, equipment, drugs, transport and supplies all require financial resources which cannot be fully met by many countries. This leads to shortcomings in the service which is more pronounced in outlying regions and districts.
In order to fill the gap which can arise in the veterinary service and provide essential health care for livestock in these communities, the concept of Primary Animal Health Care was evolved. PAHC will not eliminate the need for the veterinary service but simply provides a means of extending the service to more communities. It has been said that the more we as veterinarians and livestock specialists teach livestock raisers about health and production, the more questions they will have. So we will never be out of work! PAHC cannot fulfill the requirements unless it is supported by both the veterinary and livestock services and the communities.
The veterinary service needs Primary Animal Health Care in order to extend their activities and the community needs it to provide health care for their livestock. If it is established that there is a need for Primary Animal Health Care then a programme can be initiated.
If the need for a Primary Animal Health Care programme has been established then the question arises as to how to organise it.
The involvement of the livestock officials in the selection of people, both men and women, to be trained is essential in order to guarantee future support of the programme. Village elders, traditional leaders and livestock raisers must be involved in the selection of candidates for training. These people must make the right choice as the PAHCW will be trusted with the task of looking after the health of their livestock.
The PAHCW must be an enthusiastic, intelligent, physically capable man or woman who is ready to commit his or herself to serve the community for as long as is necessary. It is essential that they can read and write in order to carry out the work which is required of them.
The PAHCW must be able to readily communicate with all members of the community and the veterinary service. Therefore the choice of people who are already established or exhibit a potential to establish themselves in the community should be encouraged. In brief, the PAHCW candidate must not only be enthusiastic and intelligent but must also be a communicator.
The PAHCW may be a man or a woman. However some women may wish to participate in the PAHC programme but are reluctant to do so because of family, social, religious and physical considerations. These women should nevertheless be encouraged, by both the veterinary service and their communities, to join in the training. It is very important that women learn tasks which are essential for livestock care in the community. For example a woman can vaccinate chickens, use elastrators with rubber rings, care for small ruminants including hoof trimming, assist ewes with lambing, rear the orphans and many other tasks. In addition they can inform other women in the community about good livestock practices. Livestock and poultry are important sources of family food and income. Women need to be PAHCWs to care for their own animals as well as help others in the community.
A working group is essential to a PAHC programme and the adaptation of this book. The working group must be appointed by the highest authority dealing with livestock in the community and should consist of veterinarians, livestock specialists, extensionists and people dealing with development in the communities. The F.A.O. office in the country will gladly advise and help in establishing the programme.
When the working group meets to discuss adapting this book they must remember:
· The contents of this book cater for a wide range of countries and communities and the relevance of some units may differ. The working group must select those units which are relevant to their own communities and adapt the book on the basis of these.
· Any traditional remedies in use in the communities should not be ridiculed and ignored out of hand. These traditional practices must be carefully studied and those which cause harm must be discouraged while any that are beneficial should be encouraged. In many countries herbal medicines, homeopathy and acupuncture are now being used more frequently in the treatment of both humans and animals.
Types of animals
The book consists of units which are grouped in chapters which deal with animal groups. Each chapter include units dealing with basic management, housing, feeding and first aid for that group of animals.
Obviously those chapters dealing with the animals kept in your communities will be of most importance but many other chapters will also have useful information. Information such as that on external parasites or the storage of feed for the dry season can be very useful. You may also wish to encourage the introduction of a particular livestock species and the units referring to them will be beneficial.
Feeding and management practices in the book have been based on modern methods. These include aspects of nutrition, management and animal housing and hygiene. You will need to talk with your livestock officer or extension specialist for more information about planting special pasture grasses or fodder trees or about silage making.
Throughout the manual there are very few diseases which are mentioned by name. Those named are of major economic importance. Emphasis is given to general signs of disease, abnormalities and first aid. Be sure to write the common, local names of diseases in this book.
A doctor prescribes a drug but the patient receives a medicine, so in order to simplify the concept the term medicine is used throughout the manual. A limited number of drugs are mentioned and names are given either as generic, group or approved names. Few trade names are used. In Annex 1 blank lines are left at the end of each section of medicines so that the names of those drugs which are available locally can be written in. Trainees should be encouraged to write notes in this training manual.
It is important to reduce the use of trade names as this can lead to the development of the idea that only a drug marketed under a particular brand name can be used to treat individual conditions. Some people will refuse to accept anything other than a certain named drug even if others are more effective. This can mean the use of a particular product which is many times more expensive than an effective alternative. As part of the PAHCW training the utilisation and relationship of drugs should be explained to trainees and the preference for trade names discouraged.
Techniques in the manual
Most livestock owners practice some form of foot care, castration and dehorning. Some of the methods used are cruel and need to be discouraged. However the discontinuation of traditional methods in favour of other techniques will take time and it will be necessary to explain the trauma and stress caused by some practices, e.g. castration with hot skewers. Many traditional methods are used because people simply know no other way. Training and demonstrating better methods and practices, e.g. using a sharp knife instead of an axe to trim a hoof, will encourage the ready adoption of new methods. To do this the PAHCW must be well trained and able to explain to owners the benefit that will result from improved treatment and care of his animals. Most importantly the PAHCW can actually do these tasks in a competent and professional manner!
Administering injections, sterilisation of instruments, castration, taking blood samples, etc. are discussed in varying amounts of detail in the manual. New techniques, or the further elaboration of others, can be added by the working group.
Veterinarians, veterinary assistants and PAHCWs through the nature of their work are involved with food production and the health of the community. There is a direct relationship between animal health and the community's health through diseases communicable to man. Disease prevention has been highlighted throughout the manual with particular reference paid to problems of zoonoses and food hygiene.
Although this manual is intended principally for use in a PAHC programme, it may equally well be used in the training of veterinary auxiliaries, agriculturalists and extensionists.
Care has been taken to use a simple English vocabulary throughout the text. In many cases further explanation or alternative terms are placed in brackets. In addition Annex 7 gives a full explanation of all terms used. For English speaking countries this will be sufficient and where other languages are used the manual must be translated.